CPA Exam Information and Requirements

Earning certification in the accounting field can help you get a job and earn a higher salary. But not everyone can take this test – first, you have to qualify. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to qualify for the CPA exam, along with information about the test itself.

Qualifying for the CPA Exam

In order to qualify for the CPA exam, you must first meet your state’s requirements. State rules vary, but no matter where you live, your first step is completing at least a four-year bachelor’s degree program in accounting. In most states, you need further education as well, as you’re typically required to complete 150 credit hours and most bachelor degree programs are only 120 credit hours. In some cases, you can take the examine after just a bachelor’s degree program, but you’ll need to complete work experience or other programs in order to qualify. Rules vary from state to state.

Scheduling CPA Exam

Once you have completed the requirements to take the exam, you can apply for it and will receive a NTS, or notice to schedule. The exam has several parts, and you must pass all of these parts within a 18 months in order to be certified. Each part is only offered during certain times of the year, so it is important to schedule each test date so you have the ability to retake if necessary while still completing all parts within 18 months. Otherwise, you may have to retake parts of the exam, even if you already passed them.

The CPA Exam Sections

There are four main sections to the CPA exam:

  • Auditing and attestation (engagement acceptance and planning, entity and internal control, procedures and evidence, reports, accounting and review services, professional responsibilities)
  • Financial accounting and reporting (concepts, accounts and disclosers, transactions, governmental, not-for-profits)
  • Regulation (ethical and legal responsibilities, business law, federal tax process, gain and loss taxation, individual tax, taxation of entities)
  • Business environment and concepts (corporate governance, economics, finance, IT, strategic planning, operations management)

Each section is scored from 0 to 99, with a score of 75 needed to pass. After passing, some states require work experience in the accounting field in order to receive certification, but passing the exam is the milestone most employers use for hiring purposes – this shows that you’re on your way to certification and only need to gain relevant time in a job situation to receive that document.

  • Library

  • Archives